AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on March 8, 2016 by tominvestor


If your home is on the market and you want it to make a great first impression, going for major curb appeal is your first step.

You probably already know which big ticket items your home needs – if the paint is chipping and the gutter is sagging, the greenest lawn in the world wont hide those problems. But if the outside of your home is already in decent shape, then heres how to make it stand out. Fortunately, these projects dont require a great deal of cash or even a lot of time. Many can be completed in a single weekend with little more than elbow grease and a trip to the hardware store. So get together a shopping list and start practicing your curb appeal skills.

1. Have a knack for tidiness

First things first – dont let your lawn look lazy. You dont want the first thing people think when they drive up to be, Why didnt anyone move those toys off the grass? Invest in a large storage box – a weatherproof one that matches your siding or deck. Use that for all the little things that wind up here and there, such as outdoor toys, gardening supplies, and even extra suet for birdfeeders.

Other options might include a garden hose holder to keep things corralled, a nice grill cover with a drawstring bottom to fight strong winds, or gutter guards to keep even the roof looking nicer. If you already have flowers, paint all your flowerpots in colors that complement your siding or porch. Look around for other things that need to be cleaned up and dedicate a weekend to taking care of it all.

2. Practice the art of camouflage

Once everything is picked up and put away, what are the first things your eye focuses on? Does that air conditioning unit annoy you every time you see it? Does the generator seem glaringly out of place in the backyard? If there are things about your house that bother you but that you cant reasonably remove, do the next best thing: Cover them up

Planting fast-growing shrubs that will remain low the ground can be a great way to hide things that you dont want to be seen by anyone walking by. Privacy fences are a good option for those without green thumbs. You can do mask air conditioning units, generators, large drainage pipes, and anything else that seems jarringly out of place with the rest of your property. If possible, you can even paint the item the same shade as your homes exterior first so it blends in.

The only caveat: Make sure whatever you plant or build is far enough away from the item in question. For instance, you might need to place shrubs a good six or eight feet away from a generator in order to ensure safety.

3. Create the perfect flower bed

A pop of color can work wonders for any property, and that is especially true when those colors come from blooming flowers. If you have the room on your property for a flower bed, now is the time. Invest in stones, bricks or low fencing to separate the flower bed areas from the rest of the lawn, then till up the area, adding in compost along the way.

Choose flowers that will bloom throughout the season, and be prepared to pull weeds and replace flowers as necessary. A flower bed does take some time to create and maintain, but the beauty it imparts can be well worth the occasional weekend hour spent on it. Dont have enough room (or time) for a garden? A window box or two can instantly boost curb appeal.

4. Give your porch an upgrade

Your porch is one of the major points that makes or breaks that first impression — and it is also one of the easiest do-it-yourself areas of the house. Start with a fresh coat of paint or stain on the porch. Then look to getting shrubs on either side of the steps, great lighting that comes on at dusk, and comfortable places to sit. You could even look into a ceiling fan for the porch if you like to spend a lot of time out there.

Want to up the curb appeal even more? Consider painting your front door with something that contrasts perfectly with the rest of the house, creating an eye-catching scene. If your front door is old and tired, you might even want to replace it with a new one — though depending upon the style you choose, the job might go from a DIY to one that requires a contractor. But if all you want is a new coat of paint, you can have that done in just a couple days.

5. Reconsider your landscaping

Now that the house looks tidy, the porch is freshened up, the unsightly things are hidden away, and youve got a flower bed (or flower boxes, if that suits better), its time to turn your attention to the rest of the property. Careful landscaping and a lush, green lawn are all too often overlooked, but they definitely get attention.

Look for areas of the lawn where the grass is brown or dying. Look for bare patches where the topsoil has been carried away. It might take some time, but be patient — once you know where the problems are, you can figure out how to fix them. It might take new grass seed, digging a small drainage ditch and lining it with rocks, or planning out where to fertilize to brighten things up.

For an eco-friendly option, look into native grasses and shrubs, faux grasses, and other landscaping that requires less water and less maintenance. All of these DIY upgrades take only a few hours or a weekend plus a little bit of investment, but they result in serious curb appeal that can make your home the envy of the neighbors — or a very appealing place for potential buyers. Why not get started this weekend?

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog


AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on January 24, 2016 by tominvestor


Neighborhood News



If you want to make more of a social media impact, and connect with more people in the coming year, employ these strategies.

1. Engage with social media influencers and bloggers

Perhaps you have heard of brands that are actively partnering with people with influence on social media. They are doing it for a very good reason–it’s proven to work. Businesses who went this route recently saw as much as a 6-to-1 return in their marketing investment. Consumers today trust recommendations from family, friends, and social media influencers more than any type of paid marketing.

This is a type of advertising, if you see someone that has the ability to influence people, you can get in touch with them and ask them to ‘promote’ your business. For example, if you sell cosmetic products you can get in touch with makeup artists that are famous on Facebook or YouTube (based on likes etc.) and ask them to tell people that they use ‘your’ products. This works just like celebrity endorsement

2. Live streaming

Whether you are marketing to consumers, or to other businesses, live streaming is something you should try in 2016. It is a great opportunity to show the faces behind your brand, or give a behind the scenes perspective. You can use it to put a human face on your business and inspire loyalty and help form new connections. If you operate a non-profit business, you can use live streaming to show potential investors and contributors the hard work and dedication of your team behind the scenes.

You can make this easy by getting an iPhone or Android app. This way users will be able to see what’s happening with just a click of a button.

3. Social media advertising

If you have only been engaging in making posts to your social media channels, and engaging people in online conversations, you can do more in terms of advertising. You can also use paid social media efforts through Facebook and Twitter. These can co-exist, and benefit each other in a number of ways.

Seeing ads on social media is one of the top ways users of social media find out about new products, new brands, and new services. This has a huge impact since the majority of adults in the United States are on social media. If you are targeting a younger audience, the vast majority of them are on social media.

eMarketer, a world leader in research in the digital world, reports that between 20 and 25 of people who see a social media ad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, will then respond by visiting the store or website on the ad. In addition, they reported that between 14 and 17 went ahead and bought a product or service. If you do not have a comprehensive social media campaign, 2016 is the time to do it.

4. Offer special deals and promotions

If you give your social media followers exclusive deals and promotions, you can develop a larger audience, gain more customers, and take a close measure of conversions. You can also inspire loyalty from these important customers.

5. Start an employee advocacy campaign

It is common for a business to try and get external audiences to generate a buzz about their products and services. But are you doing anything about getting that response from your internal audience, also known as your employees? You will find it is much cheaper and much easier to do than getting an external audience to generate product publicity. Plus who is better at promoting your product or services than your own team?

More people trust this type of marketing, and brands including IBM have used this technique with great success.

Social media marketing can be one of your best tools–if you do it the right way. Use these proven tips to make it work for you in 2016.


1. EATING AROUND THE SAME TIME EVERYDAY – Often times when you push yourself to go too long in between meals you start to feel the negative symptoms of low blood sugar. When your blood sugar begins to decline from lack of food, you start to feel a range of volatile emotions including sadness, anger, apathy and extreme fatigue. Staying consistent with your meal times and making sure you do not push past extreme hunger will prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low.

2. DON’T FEAR THE FAT – The right fat that is Foods containing essential fatty acids help keep your brain functioning properly. It is believed that up to 80 of your brain’s mass is made up of fatty tissue. A diet that is lacking these essential fats can lead to an array of adverse mental symptoms from chronic fatigue to depression and anxiety. Thankfully, all the foods you need to get your daily dose of essential fatty acids are not hard to find. Fish, especially salmon, is famous for being high in Omega-3 fatty acids which are known to facilitate brain, heart and joint health. Adding avocados, almonds, sunflower seeds as well as coconut oil into your diet can ensure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient.

3. SNACK – You might be someone who fears that snacking in between meals will only add to your calorie load and make you gain weight. That all can be avoided if you know what to snack on. Your brain, as well as your body, needs protein. Protein burns slowly so, choosing a high protein snack will keep your energy levels balanced while avoiding taking in too much protein at once. Reaching for a snack like nut mix or deli meat and a few pieces of cheese in between meals will keep your brain and body properly fueled.

4. AVOID CRASH DIETING – The Royal College of Psychiatry defines eating well as not only consuming the right nutrients but also maintaining a body weight that is both healthy and stable. Your brain will have trouble if it stops receiving the amount of calories and nutrients it needs to operate. Your body views a very limited diet as a major threat to survival which will cause the release of stress hormones. It’s almost impossible to feel happy, calm or balanced when your body thinks you are struggling to survive. If you are experiencing health problems because of weight gain, seek the guidance of a medical professional first and aim to lose weight at a safe steady pace. Your mind and body will thank you for it

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog

AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on December 29, 2015 by tominvestor

Sales of single-family homes will rise modestly again in 2016 and median sales prices should be up 3 to 5, trade groups and researchers say. While rising mortgage rates and a shortage of first-time buyers may temper that outlook some, the coming year should be another sellers market for real estate. Despite an upsurge in construction, home inventories remain low and multiple offers are still common. While a 6-month home supply is considered a balanced housing market, most markets are well below that, some significantly. Moreover, supporting fundamentals are far more solid than about a decade ago in the pre-bust years of 2006-2007.

With that as a backdrop, here are 10 tips for buying and selling real estate in a presumed up-market in 2016.

1. Buyers: Dont overreach

A bidding war might spur you to overspend, but paying an inflated price can make it tough to resell when prices stabilize or sink. A decision to pay a premium isnt always an errant one, though, when you plan to live in the house long term. Rather than focus on overheated developments, look at comparable homes in neighboring areas with the same access to the schools and amenities that you value. Set a bid ceiling, and try to have a few other deals in the works so youre less inclined to overbid.

2. Sellers: Exercise your clout, but dont overplay it

If you set a price from 5 to 10 above the market, youre more apt to get an offer close to your homes real value than if you start much higher and force your listing to go stale. However, if your home has better qualities than area comps, you have a bit more latitude.

No need to pay closing costs or offer other incentives to the buyer, especially if it means keeping your in-demand home off the real estate market. For example, a sale contingent on the buyers selling their home is reasonable but only with a contractual escape for you, often called a kick-out clause. That gives you the right to continue marketing your home. If a less-encumbered bid comes in, you then offer the initial buyers a set time of 48 or 72 hours to withdraw their contingency.

3. Buyers: Be ready, be early, be flexible

Are the best houses still getting snapped up quickly? Then dont wait until you find a home to go loan shopping. Keep your preapproval letter, as opposed to a basic prequalification letter, in tow. Winnow your neighborhood choices before you shop.

Line up an action-ready inspector for an immediate property visit. Have your agent ask what the sellers would value most in the sale. If you can accommodate a fast settlement or short-term, rent-back condition or fewer contingencies and conditions, that can make you stand out when that dream home is hanging in the balance.

4. Sellers: Know your agents commission split

 A heated market is causing sellers to question why they should pay the full 6 commission. Hence, sellers agents are accepting less, then offering less of a split to buyers agents in a practice known as sell to the commission. When the co-op fee is low, buyers agents tend to be less than enthusiastic in showing such houses, and yours will typically take longer to sell.

5. Buyers: Buying new?

Get what you pay for. Builders are cranking production to pre-recession levels. But some are cutting corners by hiring untrained help, not waiting for concrete to cure, painting walls without primers or quietly substituting cheaper materials such as a lower grade of countertop granite, or installing inadequate plumbing or HVAC units.

Consider hiring an independent inspector to oversee construction (at $400-plus). Builders may tell you not to worry because theyll hire one. Ahem And, be sure the builder is established and that you research online reviews, complaint pages and consumer ratings. Ask specific questions about the crews experience and certifications.

6. Sellers: Know your influential rooms

Upgrades rarely pay for themselves, but there are 2 spaces that can make or break a home sale: the kitchen and master bath. Because kitchens are the heart of the home, or the new living room, make yours homey. Hide the coffee maker and toaster. Add simple decorative touches to the wall behind the sink.

Sure, new granite countertops and appliances are optimal, but new hardware for cabinets, new faucets, new lighting fixtures and fresh (neutral) wallpaper are inexpensive touches that carry weight. Thoroughly scour and depopulate the fridge and take magnets off it, please. For bathrooms, always display a sparkling bathtub and commode. A new tub liner, or shell, can make that marred tub look like new and save you from replacing it.

A new faucet, new lights, fresh caulking, a new towel rack or new mirror may be in order. Clean out the medicine cabinet. Of course, this doesnt mean you shouldnt declutter, depersonalize, paint and scrub the rest of your space, too.

7. Buyers: Beware hidden costs

When is a $250,000 house not a $250,000 house?

Answer: Always Consider these and myriad other closing costs when buying:

Origination fee: On a $200,000 mortgage for a $250,000 home, assuming 3.5 interest and no points, youd pay the lender about $1,800.

Home inspection: Even if the mortgage insurer doesnt require one, get one for peace of mind.

Property taxes: Youll usually pay a few months upfront.

Appraisal: The bank will need to determine how much the place is really worth.

Private mortgage insurance, or PMI: This depends on your down payment and credit rating.

Other pre-occupancy costs should include home insurance, title insurance and deed-recording fee, and possibly title insurance, survey costs, credit report fees, flood insurance and homeowners association dues/insurance. On that $250,000 home, allow an extra $5,000 or more atop the sale price.

8. Sellers: Consider the replacement

Youre getting multiple offers on your home, with several over asking price. Wow, that was fast But can you find your next home in time to move once you sign? If not, one option would be to request a lease-back from the buyer, allowing you to remain in your old home for the time you need to shop for the replacement. This will be contingent on when the new owners need to occupy, and the period is usually limited to 60 days.

The other option is to slow the selling process by asking for a longer period before closing. Whatever you do, get your prospects and finances lined up (see tip No. 3). Yes, a sellers market swings 2 ways

9. Buyers: Seek out an up-and-coming neighborhood

Things to look for include proximity to a new or resurgent business center, the addition of a major employer, a light-rail station, a city cleanup initiative, young people moving there, crime watch and other neighborhood groups being formed, multiple renovations underway and other up-and-coming neighborhoods abutting it.

New retailers, restaurants and other commercial tenants are also a good sign. Research by RealtyTrac shows that homes in ZIP codes that have a Trader Joes grocery store appreciated 40 on average since the homes were last purchased. Homes with a Whole Foods nearby appreciated 34 on average.

10. Sellers and buyers: Dont play the bubble game

Thousands of would-be sellers and buyers are agonizing over how they can time their next sale or purchase to coincide with the pop of this housing bubble, either by selling soon for optimal profit or swooping in with cash to pounce on post-pop pricing.

True, the bust of 2007-2008 was a loud and robust one, but dont look for anything catastrophic this time. The present froth is being fueled by narrow supply and widespread demand, not easy credit and liars loans.

Most real estate cycles dont explode like the last one; they just deflate slowly. Real estate continues to be a reliable long-term investment prone to usually modest peaks and valleys, done on a deal-by-deal basis and subject to local economies.

Good luck in the new year

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog

AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on November 15, 2015 by tominvestor

While recent market trends and media coverage have made fix and flip investing a more visible option for those looking to make money in the housing market, buy and hold strategies are a time-honored way of amassing wealth. If you are thinking of trying your hand at real estate investment, you may be wondering if a buy and hold strategy is right for you.

There are several factors to consider when contemplating which investment strategy is best. Here are a few things to take into account:

Your Personality

When you consider investing in a property, what place does pride of ownership take in your calculations? Are you motivated by that, or are you looking for a quick return on investment?

Your Risk Tolerance

Do you feel comfortable with riding out market fluctuations over time with the thought that you will eventually be able to realize a significant profit in a market upswing, or are you more drawn to getting into and out of a rehabbed property quickly?

Your Finances

Are you able to handle a substantial capital outlay and wait for long-term capital gains, or will you need quick funding for a quick deal? 

Typically, a long-term holding strategy is more appropriate for investors using real estate as a core portion of their investment portfolio. History reveals that real estate values generally increase over the long term. So, buying and holding a property can create wealth for an investor over time. Long-term investment in real estate can lead to long-term capital gains.

While fix and flip investments provide short-term capital gains, if investors wish to continue to make money with fix and flip properties, they must continually look for new properties in which to invest. On the other hand, those who choose to buy and hold properties can often see a smaller, but potentially steadier income from renting the properties they hold.

Managing rental properties, however, is an intensive process of finding quality tenants and servicing their needs. Property upkeep is also time and labor intensive in some cases. This means that those who choose to rent their properties must be fully aware of the legalities and practical issues which come up in the course of dealing with tenants.

Investors in buy and hold properties do not have to deal with the pressure to sell their properties immediately. This can be a great incentive to some investors, as the pressures associated with timing sales with market fluctuations is often nerve-wracking for some.

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog

AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on November 6, 2015 by tominvestor

Is it time to buy a new home? Maybe your growing family doesn’t quite fit in your current place – the kids are getting bigger, or there are more of them and they need more room to run around. Maybe you’re in the opposite situation — an empty nester, ready to downsize. Or maybe you’re moving because of your work, or you’re ready for the bit of adventure that can come with heading to a new town.

Whatever the reason, there are a few steps that will make the process easier and help you land the right place for your needs.

1. Check your credit rating

Unless you happen to have a giant pile of money lying around, you’re going to need a mortgage. And one of the first things any lender is going to do is check your credit rating. Lending standards have risen since the go-go days of the early 2000s, so a good score is more important than ever. Higher scores generally mean you are a lower credit risk and should help you qualify for a lower interest rate, meaning less of your money goes to the bank and more to your house.

The highest score is 800. While you don’t need to be perfect — which is extremely rare — a higher score will make getting a mortgage much easier. In a 2013 study, the FDIC found that almost no mortgages were issued to people with a score below 620, so consider that an absolute minimum.

2. Find a lender and get approved

So, your credit score is in order, now it’s time to head to the bank, or at least a lender. The market is hot now in many parts of the country, and many sellers won’t even talk to a potential buyer who isn’t pre-approved.

Sometimes it can make sense to apply for your loan with the same bank where you have your day-to-day accounts, but an independent mortgage broker can also help you find a good deal by comparing the rates and terms of many lenders. While the interest rate is the biggest single item you’ll be looking at, there are likely to be a host of other fees to watch out for. If you are looking, we’ve also got a handy mortgage calculator, with links to a variety of brokers. Once you get that pre-approval, you’ll know how much you can spend.

3. Figure out what you need

Note, you are not ready to start scrolling through the thousands of listing on the Internet, but you soon will be. First, though, get your priorities in order. Make a list of what you really need and what you just really want. Here are some key items to help you get started:

Is it important that the public schools are good, or will you send your children to private school or home school them? Keep in mind that even if you won’t be sending kids to the local schools, being near good ones will help when you eventually sell the place.

How close do you need to be to a doctor or pharmacy?

What does the commute look like from the property? (Don’t forget that commuting costs are a part of living costs. If you buy a cheaper house because it’s farther away, you may end up losing that savings in the extra driving costs.

Do you want to be able to walk places? What amenities are within walking distance?

What are your personal needs and wants? Don’t be afraid to get into real nitty-gritty details. For example, I’m on the taller side, so I always check to make sure I don’t have to crouch to fit under the shower heads. If you entertain, maybe a spacious dining room or open-plan kitchen are important. Or maybe you want a southern exposure for your garden.

Once you have your list, put it in order of priority. Get used to the idea that some of the things on the bottom of the list may need to be sacrificed. No matter how much you have to spend, you’ll always want a little bit more house than you can afford.

4. Start house shopping, boots on the ground

Flipping through house listings on the Internet is an obvious place to start, but don’t let that be all you do. Especially if you’re new to a town, there’s no substitute for actually being in a place and getting a feeling for it. Breathing the air and walking the streets in different neighborhoods can help you understand why two houses a few blocks away have radically different prices.

Find a good real estate agent (read “Homebuying 101: How to Pick the Right Pros” for some pointers) and listen to the suggestions they offer based on your wish list. Go to open houses. Lots of them. It can be fun to visit houses outside your price range to give you some perspective (and to see how the other half lives), but spend most of your time looking at houses that are within your range.

After some looking, you may find you need to revisit the priorities you developed in step three. That’s OK. It will be tempting to stretch a little further and buy something just a tiny bit more expensive. Resist this. Don’t buy more than you can afford. And sometimes the things you’re missing may just call for some delayed gratification. If you can’t afford a house with a hot tub, you can always put the spa on your list for later improvements.

5. Make an offer

This part can be tricky. If you’ve looked at enough houses, you’ve probably got a good picture of your particular market and whether a house is correctly priced. Your agent should be able to offer you advice about this and about what sort of offer to make. They’ll also have information about how long the house has been on the market and may have a feeling for how motivated the seller is.

It’s important to listen to your agent, but remember, you’re the one who’s going to have to live there and make payments for the next few decades. It’s your call in the end. Some markets are very tight, and you might get into a bidding war. Don’t let the thrill of winning the war push you over your budget. And whatever you do, make the offer contingent on an inspection. Read on.

6. Get an inspection

Unless you’re a contractor, you probably aren’t trained to look at the house in the same way an inspector is. That odd bulge in the floor could be nothing, or it could mean problems that will end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars to fix. The inspector (your agent will know at least one) will go over the house and hopefully spot all the little defects you missed.

At this point, you may be emotionally invested in the place, but keep your logical side engaged. Be willing to back out if there are too many red flags. It’s tough to pull back when you’re this close to the end, but it’s important to be open to it. And, if you have to make that call, at least you won’t have to start over from step one.

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog

AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on November 2, 2015 by tominvestor

It’s the never-ending saga of homebuyers everywhere: Just when you start looking for homes for sale, prices seem to be booming and you’re stuck trying to buy in a seller’s market. House hunting is hard to time perfectly, and sometimes it’s impossible to avoid buying in a hot market.

But don’t let the fear of tough competition send you into a panic. Avoid falling into one of these traps when shopping in a hot real estate market, and you’ll likely save yourself some money (and a few gray hairs).

1. Acting out of desperation

It’s hard not to be let down when attractive homes are taken from “new” to “pending” before you even have the chance to look at them, but remember: Desperation has no place in a home-buying transaction.

Once desperation sets in, you risk making an impulsive and otherwise unwise decision, such as talking yourself into a home that isn’t quite what you really want or paying more than you can afford. Even if you can’t or don’t want to make an offer, every home you research and visit will give you a better insight into the home-buying process and the market and allow you to refine exactly what amenities you want in your future house.

Once you know exactly what you want, let others know too. Give your contact information to the listing agents at open houses and ask them to drop you a note if they get similar listings.

2. Hesitating

What’s worse than seeing great properties come and go before you can get out to view them? Seeing them placed under contract before you make an offer. Before you walk into an open house, make sure your paperwork is up to date and your loan approval hasn’t expired so you’re in position to make an offer that day. If you haven’t already gotten a loan approval, it’s time to start the loan approval process, stat.

3. Ignoring the market entirely

It’s nearly impossible to time the market and make your real estate decisions based on current trends. A better plan is to make your buying decisions based on what’s currently happening in your family, your career, and your life (and what you envision will happen in the next five to 10 years). That said, when it comes time to execute your decision to buy, it’s foolhardy not to pay attention to the market.

You need to be able to play both sides and avoid the panic-inducing fluctuations of the market while staying informed. Ask your real estate agent to help you pay attention to neighborhood-specific information, such as which types of properties move quickly, how many days they generally stay on the market, whether multiple offers are a reality you will face, and how much over asking price homes like the one you want are selling for.

Then use this information to make strategic decisions, covering everything from which properties and areas you’ll focus on to how quickly you’ll need to get out to see listings to — most importantly — what price range you should focus your search on.

4. Financial fogginess

Don’t run the numbers in your head. Don’t ballpark your income, loan payments, and bills, stick your finger in the wind, and guess at how much you can spend on a home. Financially speaking, home buying is the big leagues, so you need to be sparkling, crystal clear on precisely what you can afford.

In a hot market, you may be faced with decisions about whether to increase your price range or your offer price on relatively short notice. If you need help, don’t hesitate to bring your tax adviser or financial planner into the home-budget discussion — especially if you’re a new homebuyer. They can help you understand tax breaks for new homeowners, which can free up some extra money for your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and HOA dues or private mortgage insurance, if applicable.

Also, make sure you include line items for your savings, retirement investing, gifts, school tuition, travel, and recreation — the sort of things that lenders will not account for when they tell you what their guidelines say you can afford.

5. Overpaying 

Hot markets mean multiple offers on the same home, which often result in a bidding war. And once you’ve had one too many homes pulled out from under you after a bidding war, it can be tempting to pay more than you budgeted for.

To avoid overpaying for a home just because it’s in a bidding war, be sure to go through comparable homes with your agent before you even look at the house.

Bonus: If your agent includes active and pending sales in their pull of the comparable data set, you may find out useful information such as whether other competitive properties have just hit the market, or that all of the competition is now under contract — things that might also inform your motivation levels or price strategy.

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog

AZ Real Estate

Posted in buyers, flips, home loans, investments, investors, mortgages, Real Estate, sellers, whole seller's with tags , on October 26, 2015 by tominvestor


Getting a mortgage isnt just about whether you can qualify. Its also about whether you can work well with your loan officer, making the process smoother and easier for both of you. Ideal customers are not only financially well-positioned, theyre also knowledgeable, realistic and cooperative. Conversely, no matter how qualified you are to get a mortgage, your loan might never close if you ignore instructions and treat your mortgage lender like a misbehaving puppy.

Some people get it. Some dont. You dont have to have perfect credit or super-high income to qualify. Its really more about the attitude than just your finances. The number one reason loans dont close on time is because of a non-cooperative borrower. One of my Lenders asked a customer, Can I get your two most recent paystubs? and an hour later, I they had them. The next customer, its two weeks and the lender is still begging.

With that in mind, here are nine ways you can become your mortgage lenders favorite client:

No. 1: Be well-qualified to get a mortgage

You dont need an 800 credit score to get a home loan. Nor do you need a 20 percent down payment to buy or 20 percent equity to refinance. Still, hitting those numbers — or close enough — certainly doesnt hurt your chances. Many borrowers have excellent credit, plenty of cash and at least a small down payment or some equity in their home.

The ideal person has a good credit score, good down payment, low debt ratio, been at their job forever, no bankruptcies, no foreclosures — just a straight-up regular good person, My Lender says.

No. 2: Dont be clueless about your credit

Some borrowers are overconfident. Others genuinely arent sure whether they can qualify. Neither is a problem for lenders. The true troublemakers are those who know they dont have a prayer, yet make the call anyways. If youve never paid anybody on time ever in your life and you have a bankruptcy from last month, thinking you can get a loan and calling a lender is nothing but a waste of time for everybody.

No. 3: Respect your loan professional

The best mortgage customers come from referrals because they bring an attitude of trust to the relationship from the start. Whether the referral comes through a financial planner, real estate broker or next-door neighbor, it tends to create a much better working relationship. When the client has the approach of working with an expert and is appreciative of your stature, that just makes for a better experience for both the lender and the customer. Youre really doing business together.

No. 4: Dont be angry and confrontational

Qualifying for a loan isnt that hard, but a lot of paperwork is required. Before your loan can be approved, every i must be dotted, t crossed and checkbox ticked. There are no exceptions and arguing doesnt change that. Realtors or Lenders dont enjoy being questioned and yelled at by people who are annoyed at lender requests. Lenders request documents for a reason. They explain on a regular basis: This isnt Joes rule. Its not Mortgage Unlimiteds rule. Its the rule.

No. 5: Be educated about mortgage basics

Lenders generally like a mortgage-educated customer. An educated customer already understands basic concepts which allows the lender to help, guide and coach them rather than trying to explain that they are not a crooks.

Whats a basic concept?

One is that no-closing-cost loans dont actually exist. The costs you dont pay upfront are hidden in a higher interest rate or larger loan amount.

No. 6: Dont be an overly aggressive rate shopper

Most borrowers understandably want the lowest interest rate and fees they can get, and shopping for the best mortgage rates is certainly how to go about it. But some borrowers are downright aggressive about rate-shopping, making themselves nuisance customers. In fact, that super-low rate doesnt really exist. Our market is so competitive that rates and fees are all so close from company to company. Theres not some magic pool of money thats cheaper.

No. 7: Be open and honest

Giving the lender all the facts about your financial situation upfront is a huge help. What matters is the client telling the lender everything they know upfront, providing all the paperwork needed as quickly as possible and being open to the fact that their going to ask for additional paperwork.

What information is important?

Examples include a prior bankruptcy or foreclosure or a recent gap in your employment history.

No 8: Be cooperative about following instructions 

When lenders ask for documents theyre usually very specific about what they want. Its up to you to comply rather than try to take shortcuts. Bank statements are a good example.

If they ask for two months bank statements with all the pages and you send a web printout showing you have the money in your account, thats nice, but what they actually need is two months bank statements with all the pages.

No 9: Dont be uncooperative about requests for documents

Nightmare customers refuse to hand over personal financial documents that are necessary to close their loan. Many of the additional items a lender asks for sometimes dont make sense to the average person. There was so much fraud six or seven years ago that today every loan goes through the deepest of scrutiny. Delays are especially problematic if youre buying a home or your rate lock is about to expire.

When a client resists and were struggling to get the paperwork, that ends up creating a lot of stress for both the client and the lender, as well as the Realtor representing the Buyer. The bottom line is that lenders appreciate clients who have a positive attitude as well as a strong financial position. If youre a terrible customer, you might still get a loan, but it wont be a good experience for you, your lender or your Realtor.

Priding myself on being The Source of the Source in AZ Real Estate, I have access to many lenders who are and have been very helpful and informative as well as successful at successfully completing approval loans for all my Buyer clients.

from The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog